Limitations of Neoliberalism and the Shift to the Left in South Africa
Peter Makaye (Independent Researcher, Zimbabwe)

Touted as the panacea to economic growth and development challenges in the South, neoliberalism has not always lived up to those expectations on the ground. Fiscal austerity, deregulation, free trade, privatisation and cuts in government spending have been lauded for bringing economic growth in countries grappling with the challenge of development. 27 years into democracy in South Africa (SA), neoliberalism has failed to bridge the socio-economic and racial divide that afflicts society. The free market approach to health, education and land in SA has exacerbated inequality. The exponential rise in Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) membership and seats in Parliament are testament to the appeal of their nationalisation narrative. The ruling ANC party’s moves to amend the National Constitution to provide for land expropriation without compensation are symptomatic of failure of neoliberalism in SA. For better social justice, a fine balance of neoliberalism with some leftist policies is necessary.